The most I could find was this:
Sparta head pounding like it been used as volleyball by
angry Grarrrg and Lemming. Sparta and Aminal and Skull
and Oof were told to "Go to Hell!" and they did. Sparta
now let scribe talk, and take much aspureen...
Hell's Bars - Part One
"Come on Nystul, just a short game..." it began. "It" would
not end until six hours later. "It" was just the FIRST PHASE
of a Barbarian Hell/Hell game. Not D2 barbarian, but the
original. The no juju, no magic item, no town portal variant
we all know and love. (Sigh, "Leap" skill would have rocked!)
The NM/H BAR victory took almost 11 hours in two long gaming
sessions, and it would be MUCH worse for H/H - so the BARs
had to use their heads for something other than battering rams.
Here was the plan - look in four separate games to find adjacent
stairs down to 15. HOPE they also happened to be near Laz and
near Pentagram, and no Soulies on 15. Should take several tries
to find such a layout, but surely within 1/2 hour, and Laz
dead within about four. Bzzzztttt! This was not to be. It took
us almost an hour to find a suitable layout, when I get Sparta
gets a message from Skull - "Clear to 14, and stairs to 15 in
sight, just one room away!" Excitedly, and ready for battle,
we joined in.
Skull, lvl 37, was unlucky enough to find the way. As host,
he would be first target for the enemies. Actually though,
having played the 'shield' for the NM/H game, and had 13 skull
caps shredded off his head, he was the most experienced for this
grueling role. Sparta, lvl 41 (ugh), with the highest chance to
block, joined next. He was followed by Oof(BAR), who just
celebrated turning 40 (40 in BAR years is like 90 in dog years,
or something like that). Animal, lvl 34 and our most skillful
"Archer", took the last slot.
We're not even 1/3 of the way there, but this has already been
one of my top four "BRUTAL" games. That 'one room' from 14 to
15 had to be totally cleared, since we planned on dying very
often and needing a totally clear path. It had gold vipers,
and the two that we lured chew us up, spit us out, and used
our entrails for floss. I'm not sure we landed a single hit.
(We're WAY into auto hit realm of 1 in 20.) Several attempts to
clear the situation led to a few others to the south being
awoken, and soon there were five drakes and about five Steel
Lords. Lag was awful and desync was powerfully present. It
was looking totally ugly. But Murphy rewards the diligent.
Desync turned our way, as the mini-mob near the stairs
attacked a figment of Sparta's imagination - super Oof!
He was standing there blocking like a hero. Since he joined
earlier I could pick them off. A 'mere' 55 swings per drake
and (on one count) 213 swings for a Steelie! Sparta was
encouraged by this, but the others went into a form of
melancholy I can scarse describe. Now wait, before you
call this cheap, rest assured that each killed monster
respawned and had to be rekilled! This occured when
Oof 'came back to life' - fortunately we could lure them away from
the stairs then take them on one-by-one. As in the NM/H and
other games, it took us a while to 'get into a pattern' and
learn what we needed to do. 3 Bars on 1 foe meant it would
drop, and drop hard. 2 on 1 was a close call who would die
first. 4 on 2 was manageable, etc... you get to know the
odds vs each monster type. Any more required someone to
initiate a lure-away action. 'Oof' was the designated
circler for this.
So now, several hours into the game, the path from 14 to 15
was not clear, and just as we could see that it might be in
a few more trips, our WORST fear came true. Although 13 to 14
was clear, I noted at game start that the sides were open,
not walled, and that any wrong turns would be bad. Now, mind
you what I'm about to describe the sane person will never see,
but it's been repeated in most of our rougher Bar games...
A path that is totally clear, after some time, finds itself
with a monster attracted to it. You figure, no biggie, and
press on. Before long it's two, then three, then someone
dies trying to take the 'clear' adjacent stairs from 13 to 14.
Next he runs 'around' those three or four, and... Holy Mother
of... five more are awake. Someone else who has not seen 13
in an hour dies, and walks down, unaware. There are nine monsters,
succubus and black knights, to greet him on 13 (!!!)
No problem you say? Just lure them away?! My friend... try
this sometime. Almost no matter how far you lure them, on
reentry to the level, or if someone else is around, off
scatter the murderers, tracking down the fresh meat. Sane
people don't know this because sane people use town portals.
They would have been on 15, TO STAY, 30 seconds from start of
game. Anyway... the game was now worse than we started on 14,
totally hosed on 13, and stairs visible to an unseed 15.
Sparta just HAD to see what was there - after all, if
Soulies or similar, it was no use and we should try another
dungeon. It was agreed that should we by some miracle clear
the 13-15 path, we would either not go down and take whatever
15 we got next time, or go down and clear landing spot and
recreate with the identical monster mix. Thus we chose the
latter course of action... Animal promised an Obs Zod to
anyone who could make it to 15. (He could not even LOAD 13,
much less take a step.) Sparta the dim-witted managed to
make it down there (although he has no need for Obzidun joolry).
He decided to scout while the others played with 13. Soon a
lightning bolt was cast at him... hey! Cabalists! They don't
chase and can be ignored! Super... and to join them,
Hell Spawn. Not the easiest, but hey, this was about a do-able
combination for 15 as Barbarians could possible hope for!
Sparta's enthusiam skyrocketed, and he headed back up to try
to help clear 13. It was decreed, for second time, to be a
total wash. But someone coming up from 14 drew them a few steps
away from the stairs, in a decoy fashion leading them south.
Skull and Oof boldly ran down at that time, and did a "deep lure".
The plus side - stairs were 'loadable'. The down side - now
about 63 monsters were awake, and more than 2 at a time were
effectively 'immune' to us.
We alternated plans - A) try to set up a '2 on 2' in an
isolated alcove to the south, where we could kill ONE knight
and try to live, and hide, and plan B) deep lure. The problem
with B was that 'huge' recovery radius they had for finding us
on re-entry. The problem with A was getting just 2. Once we
had 3 on 2 for about 3 seconds, and felt close to killing one.
Then about 15 knights started that stutter-charge towards us,
and we were literally trampled. Well, with over a dozen in
that alcove, we saw our chance to zip down to 14, to 'end this
charade' on a 'high note'. With all four of us making it,
we managed to kill the remaining seven monsters, luring them
one at a time (just once, two).
Four+ hours into the game, and 14-15 utterly clear. Could we
stop now? Well... maybe just one more shot at 13... ?!
In our glee of seeing things die - Drake death count up to about
"9" (woo!), we forgot, or rather, repressed, how bad 13 stairs
were. We went for a "four man" deep lure to try to pull them away
further. Alas, a wrong order left the stairs impenetrable!
We found that level load time had a huge impact in
near-hosed stair traps. Nystul loaded about 12 seconds slower
than Oof, who was lightning fast. I was slightly slower than
Oof, and Skull was just a tad worse than I. Nystul was essentially
dead-on-landing no matter what. Oof had best chances to live, and
for some reason, I ended up dancing away where others die.
(I thinking hitting a drink potion key AS the level finished
loading may have helped too!) At this point, the most somber
"it's a wash" cry was made. One of the most experienced players
I've seen declared "You know, this is hands-down the worst
stair trapping, I've seen, and... we've seen some duzzies!!"
Animal laughed his head off when the optimistic Sparta said
"Hmm.. i wonder is this MAY be a wash" when he died on
level load, surrouned by over a dozen knights locked into
position on the stairs.
"ONE LAST TRY!" is Sparta's motto. And amazingly enough, he
found three more gluttons who also take that approach!
Sparta remained on the ground, dead, to watch, and to "plug"
the 'entrance' spot to the level. Oof, the brave and quick,
came down once last time. I could scarcely believe my eyes
when I saw him actually running, then disppearing from you,
then exclaiming "OOF ON 14!". What happened was that the
level entry spot was clogged by Sparta's corpse, and the
next, oh, 17 adjacent spots in a circle were occupied by
Knights. Oof landed about 3-4 squares left of the stairs,
was hit but not locked up (thank goodness not by fast attackers)
and could run like the wind to 14. This left the mob two steps from
the stair entry - Sparta could make it down alive, and lure them
to 'four' steps away. Skull then entered, and did what skull
does best - run for his life!! He managed an amazingly deep
lure. We figured the B - A plan combo was our only shot, but
with deep deep lures. Oof and Skull, with best maps, did
just that, luring far far way, with 3-4 dozen knights in tow.
Here's the key - they waited along the way for mobs to catch
up and ALMOST reach them, before running on. An alcove
attempt failed, but one more deep lure, and here was the
plan. Skull deep lure again, Nystul and Sparta escort the
remaining expected 1-2 knights to the alcove for a little
roughing up, and Oof dance around to occupy the ladies.
To our joy, there were no knights left to lure. The 3 or 4
Succubi were herded to the alcove and... [censored].
As we probed, a baby-step at a time on the 13-14 path,
we did manage to bring back a few more witches and two
knight stragglers, who were also roughed up. And then...
the monster ambushes ceased. Repeated level loads and
steps outside the 'path' brought no more monsters.
The path was clear to 15 !!!
But wait, there's more! Ack! Not much more, for it
was almost six hours into the game, and we had done what
we had hoped to do in first 5 minutes. Yet we had to
'secure' the landing zone, kill the four or so witches
and lawyer, that were in the large room. Their stars
really stung, but we cornered them and ganged up to
slay them. Now, with all paths and the landing zone
*secure*, the continuation game would start us off with
the identical path/LZ clear, and according to original
plan and rules, we'll find an identical monster mix
on 15. It will depend how close we end up to Laz and
the pentagram, and how well we avoid overactivation,
but we expect about five hours to kill Laz and get a
clear path to 16 (this will be "Phase II") and at least
seven to ten hours to handle 16. (Secure LZ, open single
switch, throw maze switch, throw double switches,
while keeping a "Diablo Death site" picked out and clear,
then killing him. - Phase IIIa,b,c,d)
I'm exhausted again, just thinking of what lies ahead.
In search of the ultimate Barbarian glory...
ChariSparta, Oof, Skull, Animal
Off we went in search of our continuation game - from monsters found earlier and try-to-mimic rule in place, we needed Cabalists and Spawn on 15 again. LemmingOfGlory went off to try to find this combo. He didn't find it, but he did find a Dreamflange, Eaglehorn, and bought a KSOH Broad from Gris! It pays to be nice!!
ChariSena figured such a search would be a less boring way to get some exp and she mopped 13 and 14 clean. To her surprise on 15, first a lightning bolt (Cabalist) then red blood star (Hell Spawn)!
She headed out and in came Skull, Oof, Sparta and Animal, in original join order.
As usual, our very first lure of the game sucked, and brought give spawn. It took 1.5 hr to "get a grip" from that lil slip up... Soon we mastered a technique of one person running around like a chicken (or duck) with no head, drawing fire of mob-1. The other two (Skull dropped by now!
) then lured and sealed her in a corner - for once a spike did NOT help.
This was repeated a dozen or so times, with each kill taking about 5 pots (3 to 16 range). The Cabalists we could actually hit (low low AC), which was a pleasure. Yet they were as flies, to be ignored except when too thick.
Four hours later, he had a totally clear path from the stairs (opposite Laz, SE), through the adjacent quadrant (SW) to Laz's quad, with his room just barely visible. Phase II B will see this recreated as accurately as possible, and we'll get to Laz room and work on that. (This should be fun!)
We all knew Skull would not want to miss this -
and we also wished we had known/kept the 'seed'.
Would have made recreation a snap. Fortunately the walks were short this time, just a touch more than orig game, but close
The start was rough, but Sparta felt situation was totally under control at the end. One medium overactivation was easily cured with a single 'deep lure' by the Oofmeister. Unlike with Knights, the stairs could not really be clogged.
Lazarus is dead!! In a 2 hour game that took
6 hours to set up (don't ask), the Bars were able to lure monsters out of the Laz room back into clear killing zones. The first witch ate our lunch, but we using a ping-pong match to defeat the wicked ladies. I thought Laz would be worse, but he popped OUT of the room unexpectedly very early. A few cornering attemps failed due to desync phasing, and after a few times we decided to "bum rush him"! All rush like stooges and swing. Amazing, it worked! If you play Myth, it was like 4 berzerkers chopping up a fetch.
He went down in seconds, as we could actually hit his paltry AC.
A new and amazing title has been earned for Sparta, Animal, Oof and Skull...
Phase II C - clear rest of 15 enough go have a fully clear swath from 15 stairs to pentagram. IF Vizier is found we will bum rush him
Phase III - just 7 (cough) easy stages
I hope we can do it before D2 comes out!
Phase 2C, clearing path to pentagram done...
3A - secure landing zone, done
3B - open single lever done
3C - maze switch thrown - actually, entire quad cleared
Now 'just' throw double switches, awake Diablo, get him isolated, and kill him. (cough)
Actually, getting from Lazarus to the Pentagram was no piece of cake... that took quite a while, and yes, we gave Vizier the bum rush and beat him senseless. Timing was off - and we couldn't get Animal(BAR) and Skull(BAR) in a game together, so it swapped Animal -> Skull -> Animal. We secured the landing zone on 16, got a few kills, BK's, which gave great pleasure. We got lucky throwing the first lever on the first try, but paid for it over next two or three hours getting the level back "in order". In fact we killed nothing for 2:30 of those 3. Lure, lure again, try plan A, plan B, plan C, lure, almost kill something...
Finally we cleared out a large alcove to the north and after a deep lure, had just 3 BK's at stairs and some advos. These we isolated and defeated. In the maze we found a spot where we could 3-on-1 the BK's So they soon fell and the entire maze quadrant was cleared of all enemies (well, we still died dozens of times taking the quad). This would be where we would face Diablo in the end.
The plan for that end is, in fact, tonight.
It's Animal's last evening before he gets put back in his cage for the summer. Been through that with him before and... I'm not ashamed to say it... I'm gonna miss him!
And the end? It was only a post with a link to Charis' page. All of the finale posts contained links! 'Tis... maddening!